Make no mistake: your insurance company will gleefully drop you if you get sick enough.
It has long been difficult to get a good read on balls & strikes while watching on TV. Slate explores the camera angles here.
I have always wondered about New Order's "Love Vigilantes": is he really dead, and he's just having a vision about going home just before he dies? Is he a ghost? Or did the army mistakenly send his family a message that he's dead? Anyway, Iron & Wine's version of it is awesome.
Lastly: Dance! Dance I said! (props to Patricia)
Since the Red Line crash, I've had a couple of people ask if I'm at all nervous about riding Metro now. I took it downtown and back yesterday, so there's your answer. Look, I've lived here for 15 years now, and there's been exactly one fatal passenger accident in that time. How many fatal and horrific car crashes have there been in, on and around the Beltway in the same time frame? I don't know, but it's a whole lot more than one. And yet nobody asks if I'm nervous about driving after there's been a major car accident. If anything, I expect the Metro to be safer now, because they'll finally take those old cars out of service.
Of course, the Metro crash is completely out of the news now, thanks to the death of Michael Jackson (as I was informed by EVERYONE'S Facebook updates last night). Posnanski says it well here--I have never been a Michael Jackson fan by any stretch, but growing up when I did, he was pretty well inescapable. I have gained an appreciation for his earlier work over time. But mostly, I view him as a sad commentary on the perils of unlimited fame and wealth. At one point, he was pretty much the most famous person in the entire world. And it drove him completely insane.
As I write this, the Nats are going into extra innings for the second straight night. I was at the game last night, and while I was happy to see a win, in some regards it was disappointing.
Top 6, Nats up 1-0. Two down, runners on first and second. Jordan Zimmermann goes 0-2 on Rod Barajas, the #8 hitter. JZ is nearing 100 pitches; he's also due up fourth in the bottom half of the inning. So this is a big spot for him--without a doubt his last inning, if not his last hitter, and you'd like to see him get out of it so the Nats can pinch-hit for him or work a double-switch.
Might be a good time to cheer for your pitcher, right? Instead, the 20,000-odd home fans sat on their friggin' hands, apparently with no idea this was potentially a key spot in the game. So the baseball gods frowned, and helped Barajas get a base hit to tie it up. That was it for Zimmermann. Yeah, the team is awful and blah-de-blah, but when free agents start leaving town for greener pastures, remember this.
Then there was the bottom of the 7th. Guzman led off with a single, then Johnson doubled, moving Guz to third. Ryan Zimmerman... struck out looking. Dunn was intentionally walked. Dukes... struck out looking. Josh Bard... STRUCK OUT LOOKING. I can't recall ever seeing all three outs in an inning as Kc, and certainly not with multiple runners in scoring position. Now, from my vantage point, I couldn't tell if these were ridiculous, fall-off-the-table curve balls. But nonetheless, I continue to believe that modern players take too many close pitches with two strikes. What happened to "protect the plate?" Put the damn ball in play already.
Nonetheless, the bullpen held the line, and Adam Dunn finally drove in a run in the 11th. I can't stand sitting through an extra-inning game only to see the team lose, so, good.
Lastly, I have spaces on my score card for the winner of the Presidents' Race, and "Why Teddy Lost." Last night, for the latter I wrote "Failed to attack Abe with a shark." Anthony, who was in from Milwaukee, was a bit incensed that the Nats have brazenly plagiarized the Sausage Race. Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Facebook memery. Dan tagged me on this a while back, I wrote my list, then forgot to post it.
Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose.
Edward Abbey "The Fool's Progress"
Kurt Vonnegut "Cat's Cradle"
Douglas Copeland "Microserfs"
Sparky Lyle "The Bronx Zoo"
Michael Pollan "The Omnivore's Dilemma"
Hunter S. Thompson "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72"
Boris Pasternak, "Doctor Zhivago"
Don DeLillo, "Underworld"
Arthur C. Clarke, "Childhood's End"
Tsai Chih Chung, "Zen Speaks: Shouts of Nothingness"
Philip Josť Farmer, "To Your Scattered Bodies Go"
Ernest Hemingway, "The Sun Also Rises"
John Steinbeck, "Travels With Charley"
Lawrence Ritter, "The Glory of Their Times"
Alexis De Tocqueville, "Democracy in America"
Saturday night: galbi, also known as Korean-style short ribs, rice, steamed sugar snap peas, sesame napa-cabbage slaw, and pound cake with strawberries and fresh whipped cream. This was the best meal I've had anywhere in quite some time. I said "These ribs are the best things ever," until we had dessert, and then I said "Wait, this may actually be the best thing ever."
The key to farm-fresh sugar snap peas: steam them for three minutes, and not a second more.
Also, if you own a stand mixer, you are hereby forbidden from ever buying Cool Whip or whipped cream in a can ever again. One cup of whipping cream, three tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Put on your whisk attachment and let 'er rip.
Sunday: The July issue of Bon Appetit has a somewhat silly article on hot dogs. Six over-the-top hot dog toppings, including "Indian-style" dogs with dal and raita. So what the hell, I made hot dogs with manchego cheese and roasted garlic-red pepper relish. That's right, I bought $14/pound imported Spanish cheese and PUT IT ON HOT DOGS! They were pretty good, but I don't know that I'll be swearing off ketchup mustard 'n' onions as a result. Served with grilled potatoes and corn on the cob.
Kristin and Cate went to Toys R Us the other day, and came home with a rubbery plastic ball filled with a glittering liquid. There is a warning label on the ball: "DO NOT STORE IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT."
Of course, this new toy is now referred to as Happy Fun Ball.
It's been a while. So long, in fact, that the front page of the FoolBlog is a blank slate, until I get this posted.
Many idiotic and sad stories over the past few weeks. F'rinstance, the notion that Guantanamo prisoners are so super-scary that American prisons can't hold them. Even worse, the murder of Dr. George Tiller. The pro-life side seems permanently under the impression that late-term abortions are simply women deciding at the last minute that they don't feel like having a baby, when in fact it is never, ever that simple. I've linked before to this piece on women who picket the clinic one day, then come in the next--it's apparently too easy to believe in a caricature of what an abortion is all about (particularly a late-term one), rather than try to understand what such women are really going through.
Equally stupid: if only everyone who says "Waterboarding isn't torture!" would try it for themselves.
For NoVA locals, and anyone else interested in modern land development trends: Neddie provides interesting fodder on how Loudon County's past continues to shape its future.
So, the Nats. Yeah, they suck. I went to the ballpark Wednedsay and hung around in the rain for four hours. The most stunning stat I've seen on them is this item on Winning Percentages When Scoring Six or More Runs. The gap between the worst and next-to-worst records is mind-boggling.